NWSL: What Implications Does The USWNT World Cup Schedule Have?


US Soccer released the full schedule of friendlies that the USWNT will be taking part in as preparation for the 2015 Women’s World Cup. They announced the team will play 10 games starting February 8 against France. But the question is, how will this preparation schedule affect the 2015 NWSL Season?

We knew that the league will take a two-week break during the group stage of the World Cup. Back in August it was also announced that the league will play a 20 game schedule with National Team players likely to miss seven to eight games. The schedule released on Monday provides a little more insight into how much of the season USWNT players will miss.

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The pair of friendlies in February as well as the Algarve Cup won’t have any impact on the NWSL season with training camps usually not starting until mid-March. Also, the friendly against New Zealand shouldn’t be too much of a problem as it is played a week before the season begins.

USWNT players will likely be called in for camp prior to the start of the send-off series in May. The first match is on May 10 meaning players should be available though the first four weeks of the season. The NWSL schedule, which is due to be released tomorrow, will dictate how many games each team will play in those first four weeks. Each team will likely have 3-4 games at that point.

Right now, it is unclear how much time international World Cup hopefuls who play in NWSL will miss. It was reported by the Canadian Soccer Association that allocated Canadians will likely play the first 3-4 games of the season prior to starting their final World Cup preparation camp. There haven’t been any reports out of Mexico on World Cup preparation. There also has not been any word from Australia, who has a number of players on NWSL rosters, about their World Cup preparation plans.

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  • Return dates for players to their NWSL teams depend on when each team is eliminated from the World Cup. If the USWNT does make a deep run in the tournament this summer, it is unlikely that members of the team will return to their clubs before mid-July.

    The stretch without NWSL World Cup stars will definitely be rough on teams. Did the league make the right decision to only take a two-week break during the World Cup? Did US Soccer need to schedule two friendlies outside the FIFA window and pull players away from their clubs early?

    Tell us in the comments section below.

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